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NBA Odds: The Indiana Pacers will take the next step

A good coach and roster should make for a strong win total from an underappreciated Pacers team

Indiana Pacers v Houston Rockets Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers have one of the more interesting rosters in the league. They won’t contend for a championship but they will certainly give teams across the league a headache whenever the come to town. Despite what some people believe, Rick Carlisle is an exceptional coach and will maximize the talent he has on the roster. Led by Tyrese Haliburton, a top 5 seed may not be out of the question for this hodge-podge roster.

Indiana Pacers (Over/Under 38.5 Wins)

Key Additions - Obi Toppin, Jarace Walker, Bruce Brown Jr.

Key Losses - Chris Duarte, George Hill, Goga Bitadze

The Pacers finished last season outside of the play-in tournament with a 35-47 record. Why, then, would I be so bullish about them? Tyrese Haliburton will take a step forward. Bennedict Mathurin’s shot selection and efficiency will improve in his second season in the league. Jarace Walker and Myles Turner should be menaces on the defensive end. Bruce Bowen is the perfect glue guy and should excel in the space opened up by the shooting of Haliburton, Turner, and Hield. T.J. McConnell and Obi Toppin should pick and roll second units to death. They have good depth and should survive anything outside of a major injury to Haliburton.

Outside of the Milwaukee, Boston, Cleveland, and possibly the Knicks, are we sure the Pacers can’t finish 5th? Miami remains a question mark and are undoubtedly a better playoff team than they are a regular season team. The Sixer’s locker room is a mess and Embiid is a ticking time bomb. Toronto has a ton of question marks. Overall, I just feel like the Pacers have the ability to steal some wins while from some of the elite teams while maintaining a record above .500 against the dregs. That should be more than enough for them to hit the over.

PREDICTION - Over 38.5 Wins